Catherine Hardwicke is the formidable film-maker who directed Thirteen (2003) and the first Twilight (2008). Now she turns to a big “soromance” weepie in the style of Beaches. It’s very heartfelt and honesty forces me to admit that at one moment it got under my irony guard and I was uncool enough to choke up. Toni Collette plays Milly, the successful PR whose lifelong friendship with Jess (Drew Barrymore) is tested when Milly gets breast cancer: just as she endures the ordeal of chemotherapy and mastectomy, Jess begins drug treatment for IVF, and it seems as if there is some cosmic symbiosis in their friendship giving Jess a personal triumph just as Milly experiences a terrible reverse. Dominic Cooper and Paddy Considine play their respective partners and Jacqueline Bisset is Milly’s elegant, distraite mother. The screenplay has been developed by Morwenna Banks from her award-winning BBC Radio 4 play Goodbye, which starred Olivia Colman. Some of that work’s intimacy and poignancy has been sacrificed in the interests of hitting the big power chords of a feature film, but Collette is a potent, unsentimental presence and Hardwicke and Banks know how to connect with the audience. They could have a hit on their hands.
Peter Bradshaw is the Guardian's film critic